Tuesday, November 24, 2009

cranberry sauce

I know that I've been saying this a lot lately, but it's been a bit of a day. Joey was home again with the flu. It's not really his style to be sick for so long, and we're pretty sure all of this will be over tomorrow.

It better be, because there are a lot of people coming over here for Thanksgiving, and there is a large turkey in my refrigerator. It has quite a presence.

We took him (Joey, not the turkey) to the doctor today, confirmed that he was, in fact, not dying, and then the girls and I went for a drive to go meet some friends that we haven't seen in a long time.
They are a family that makes an afternoon feel a bit sparkly.

We finally made it home, Joey was thankfully still alive and on his fourth cup of garlic lemonade. I cleaned up, dry brined the damn turkey, and here I am.
Somehow in the midst of all that, I made cranberry sauce.

Is it because I am a super hero?
No. It is because cranberry sauce is that easy.
I know there are some of you who have an attachment to can shaped gelatinous "cranberry sauce". Go ahead. Eat that. I'm not going to try to convince you out of it, because frankly, I'm wiped and I recognize that holiday food habits are hard to break, even wrong to break.
My grandmother used to make her cranberry sauce with canned pineapple. I could eat gallons of it in one day. I seem, like Sadie, to have developed an allergy to pineapple (maybe it was all that cranberry sauce) so I make it with canned mandarin oranges. Do what you like, but make it soon so that it can sit around and meld a bit. Or eat the canned stuff. Just don't bring it over here.

Cranberry Sauce

2 10 oz. bags fresh or frozen organic cranberries (organic is really important here)
2/3 cup water
1 10.75 oz. can of mandarin oranges in juice
1 cinnamon stick
8 cloves
2 cardamom pods
pinch of dried orange peel
1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup, to taste (I like it a bit sour still)

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries and water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries start to burst.
Then stir in the oranges and their juice (make sure that they are not in syrup).
In a cheesecloth, combine the spices, tie them up, and throw the bundle in. If that feels too fussy to you, you can also add ground spices instead to your own liking. I like the cheesecloth because it really infuses the whole mixture.
Cook at the lowest heat for another 30 minutes or so. Add maple syrup. Cool, refrigerate, and remove cheesecloth before serving.


  1. my mom makes it with candied ginger, delish!

  2. thanks for the dry-brine idea. I'm on it =D